First Looks: what are they and why are they important???
A First Look is a time a few hours before the wedding ceremony where bride and groom see each other for the first time on their wedding day. It’s pre-arranged with their wedding photographer in a private place away from family and friends to capture that moment just for the two of them.
So why is it important to have a first look??
1. More photos!
Adding in a first look gives you an extra time slot to have portraits done! If having an abundance of bride and groom photos is important to you (and chances are that if you’ve hired us, they are!), then a First Look is the the way to go! With a First Look we can take all the time in the world for portraits! This gives us time to roam around your venue and find all of the best spots! We aren’t rushed which means way less stress for you!! You’ll also look your best at this point in the day – fresh clothing, fresh hair and makeup, no mascara streaks down your face from crying. Scheduling portrait time before the ceremony, (with a first look), and after your ceremony, (typically around sunset), allows for more photo opportunities. In addition, weddings are unpredictable and there are often delays. Adding that extra photography time gives gives your timeline some cushion.
2. Alone time!
Even though its your big day, a bride and groom typically don’t spend very much time together! Having a first look gives you some moments where it’s just the two of you! The First Look gives the two of you a private, intimate moment together. We don’t let anyone else watch, it’s just for the two of you! Unlike at the altar you get to talk and hug and spend some time really soaking in your love for each other. And then whenever you’re ready we head into portrait time of just the two of you so you get even more time together. The rest of your day will be filled with family and friends but a First Look gives you time to just enjoy being in each other’s company!
3. Calm your nerves!
You guys, wedding days are so nerve-wracking. There’s so much stress and chaos leading up to your big day, and especially the morning of your wedding. Whether you’re nervous about reciting your vows, being the center of attention or crying in front of people, seeing each other before the ceremony starts calms those jitters so fast!!
4. Spend more time with your guests!
Another perk? Having a first look will save time later when the transition from ceremony to reception takes place. Most couples want to spend as much time as possible with their guests, especially since so many guest travel from out of town to be there for your big day. Instead of spending an hour or more after the ceremony taking photos, you get to squeeze in a few more portraits after the ceremony and then head right to cocktail hour to be with your friends and family! Your wedding day is one of the only times where all of the people that you love the most will be together in one place and we don’t want you to miss a second of it!!
5. Relax your timeline!
This is the least romantic point, but for most couples the First Look makes more sense from a timing standpoint. Feeling rushed and stressed out because of a crunched timeline is no fun for anyone. Being able to knock out most of your formal portraits (Bride and Groom, Wedding Party and sometimes even family formals) gives your wedding day timeline some much needed breathing room.
I know a lot of couples think that seeing each other before the ceremony will make walking down the aisle seem super anticlimactic. But as a bride who did a First Look I can promise you that walking down the aisle was still unforgettable and emotional. We both still cried like babies during that moment. Our first look just helped us get rid of any of the jitters we might have had and we were able to be in the moment and enjoy our ceremony. (Proof we loved our first look AND walk down the aisle below!)
Images by Laurenda Marie Photography
Images by Laurenda Marie photography
Now, with all that being said: we most definitely DO NOT require our couples to do a First Look! Your wedding day is your day, and no matter what you decide we’ll be with you every step of the way! We totally understand that some couples feel very strongly about not seeing each other before the ceremony, and that is totally fine too! However, we’ve seen from experience that most couples aren’t even aware of the benefits of a First Look. We hope this post has helped you decide if you were on the fence about adding a First Look to your big day!